CDC calls flu "epidemic" widespread

Biologist Jason Plyler prepares to test how immune cells react to possible flu vaccines at the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health on Dec. 19 in Bethesda Maryland

Biologist Jason Plyler prepares to test how immune cells react to possible flu vaccines at the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health on Dec. 19 in Bethesda Maryland

Dr. Fitzgerald said the country is in the midst of a very active Influenza season with Influenza A and H3N2 being the most common reported.

Douglas County health experts don't know when the flu will peak.

Elkhart General Hospital's emergency room department has been extremely busy because of the flu season, with patients waiting "anywhere from two to eight hours", said Dawn Wilkins, an infection preventionist for the hospital. "Whether you have the flu or the GI, take care of yourself and try to keep it from spreading. This year it appears to be a little more vigorous". Another influenza B virus subtype also is circulating.

The CDC believes that the nation is now facing the peak of the flu season, and that it is the worst such season since 2014-15. In the United States, it is 40 to 60 percent effective in an average season. So, if the predictions on the prevalent strains are wrong, there is insufficient time to modify the vaccine.

"The other problem with this virus is that it is so hard to grow in eggs, and most vaccines are dependent upon the virus growing in eggs, and so that's worse in H3N2". "I believe that that is what can save lives especially with children because they are so vulnerable". Studies show that for children, a shot can significantly reduce the risk of dying.

The flu is now widespread in New Hampshire, and 10 adults in the Granite State have died of the illness this season, health officials said Wednesday. It takes about two weeks to take effect. Most family physicians, pediatrician offices, primary care clinics and pharmacies offer the influenza vaccine. Check the Vaccine Finder website at vaccinefinder.org for a location near you. Ailing patients should wash hands frequently with soap and water - or if that's not available, with alcohol-based hand rub.

Vehicle goes airborne and crashes into the second floor of the building
The vehicle was later removed by the Orange County fire officials with the help of Los Angeles County Urban Search & Rescue team. They added that the driver of the auto "admitted to using narcotics, and will be admitted to a local hospital for observation".

"All influenza viruses are changing constantly", said Alicia Fry, with the CDC.

"They have weakened immune systems".

If you feel as if you're having trouble breathing, or if your fever can't be controlled with medication such as Tylenol, check with your doctor.

A local pharmacist at Roger's Pharmacy, JulieMarie Nickelson, says the elderly and the young are most at stake when it comes to influenza.

The CDC recommends most patients get antiviral drugs.

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